AWS OpsWorks Stacks

Amazon is the leader in cloud computing services today. It provides a large range of efficiency-enhancing cloud computing and storage services at the most affordable pricing. Amazon regularly launches new, exciting features, functions, tools and services for AWS users.

AWS OpsWorks has become one extremely popular service for AWS users. OpsWorks is designed as a configuration management service that is aimed at helping users to configure and operate applications in cloud enterprise, by either using Chef or Puppet.

Within the AWS OpsWorks service, the AWS OpsWorks Stacks tool helps users with readymade Chef solutions and recipes for managing server configuration. Similarly, OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise is designed to help users configure the Puppet Enterprise server in AWS.

What are AWS OpsWorks Stacks?

Cloud-based computing requires using multiple AWS resources, for example, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) instances or Amazon EC2 instances. Normally, any web application will need various cloud-based resources to run, resources such as load balancers, database servers, application servers and other similar resources. This collection of instances is what is known as a ‘stack’.

AWS OpsWorks Stacks is the original service that provides an easy and efficient way for creating and managing stacks and apps. It lets users deploy and monitor apps in their stacks. Users can easily create stacks that make cloud resource management more efficient, with specialized groups called ‘layers’.

A layer normally consists of a set of instances that are designed for a specific purpose, such as hosting database servers or serving apps. Layers need Chef recipes to manage operational tasks, such as deploying apps, running scripts and installing packages on instances.

As opposed to AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate, the AWS OpsWorks Stacks does not need or creates Chef servers. In contrast, AWS OpsWorks Stacks performs many tasks that are otherwise handled by a Chef server. Additionally, AWS OpsWorks Stacks make it easier to provision new instances or monitor instance health, when necessary by using Auto Scaling and Auto Healing.

What are the Benefits of AWS OpsWorks Stacks?

Now that you know the functions of AWS OpsWorks Stacks, let’s check out some of the major benefits of AWS OpsWorks Stacks usage:

Supports Multiple Applications

AWS OpsWorks Stacks supports a large variety of infrastructures, including simple web apps to intricate and complex custom apps, along with any software that comes with a scripted installation.

As AWS OpsWorks Stacks are compatible with Chef recipes and Power/Bash Shell scripts, users can easily access numerous community-developed configurations, including Elasticsearch and MongoDB.

Using AWS OpsWorks Stacks, a user can easily model and visualize their applications with layers containing resource and software configuration. Users can effectively control every regulator on their application’s configuration to ensure that it matches their requirements, tools and processes.

Configuration as Code Service

The AWS OpsWorks Stacks lets users define configurations for their entire virtual environment in an easy-to-read format so that users can maintain and store it just like an application source code. It is easy to replicate the configuration for new instances and to ensure consistent configuration at all times for every running instance too.

Users can deploy their applications from source repositories, including Subversion and Git, to single or multiple instances with a simple click.

Scales Automatically

AWS OpsWorks Stacks offers dynamic configuration and management which allows users to manage their applications efficiently throughout their lifespans, such as supporting automatic instance scaling and auto-healing.

Every new instance is automatically configured to specifications and users can even modify its configuration with respect to system events. This way, users can alter the configuration of a web app firewall when a web server goes online in automated mode.

Compatible with Multiple Servers

AWS OpsWorks Stacks help users to automate operational tasks, such as software package installations, software configurations, code deployment, database setup, etc. on Windows and Linux-based servers, including current EC2 instances or on servers running on the on-site infrastructure.

Users can choose a single configuration management service to deploy and operate various apps across their hybrid IT architecture.

Organizes Resources

AWS OpsWorks Stacks lets users visualize and model their apps using factors, such as apps, layers and stacks. AWS OpsWorks Stacks monitors every stack and displays stacks’ status on the dashboard. This tool tags your resources to the stack and layer names to make discovery easier. This makes it easier to support logical groupings for cost allocation, monitoring and permissions.

Users can also allow access to AWS IAM users for specific tasks. This makes it incredibly easy to manage multi-user environments.


All in all, the AWS OpsWorks Stacks is an excellent tool, as it allows users to manage their servers and applications on on-site and AWS servers. This makes the AWS OpsWorks Stacks an incredibly efficiency-enhancing tool which is the need for the hour for enterprises looking for even faster and more efficient cloud-computing services.

See Also

Opsworks vs Cloudformation


Steve is a product-marketer and Engineer at Cloudysave who works with Cloud Management and Adoption team. Over the past years, he has collaborated with multiple teams to provide a robust and cost-effective architecture patterns to influence business and engineering decisions. His key areas of interests include Cloud Costs Management, Security and DevOps Best-Practices.